Was ‘That Cold Day in the Park’ the First Studio Film Shot in Vancouver?

A reader writes with a question that I couldn’t answer:

I am trying to confirm that Robert Altman’s film “That Cold Day in
the Park” is, in fact, the first “official” studio film to be shot in
(or around) Vancouver? Any insight?

I got curious, so I called the BC Film Commission. They’re going to get back to me on Monday. If I was so inclined (and I might be), the answer to this question could probably make a nice feature for the Vancouver Sun or Vancouver magazine.

UPDATE: I heard back from the BC Film Commission:

Our best guess – and it isn’t official – is Cold day in the Park (1969) – Republic Pictures – Robert Altman, Sandy Dennis.

As I recall, this is the one you suspected.
Five easy pieces was also filmed here in 1969 – We’re not sure which one was first. We didn’t exist back then!


  1. The “Cold Day” movie was shot with Robert Altman as director and released (just before M*A*S*H) in 1969. Altman returned to (West) Vancouver in 1971 to shoot McCabe and Mrs. Miller with Warren Beatty and Julie Christie. Many great films were shot in the Vancouver area in the early 70s (Jack Nicholson’s Five Easy Pieces and Carnal Knowledge; and Russian Roulette with George Segal).

    As for the “first” studio film shot in Vancouver or BC, I think you can source that from the library. I’ve seen a book with a comprehensive listing of film productions in BC going back to the 1930s, and some of them were Hollywood productions I think.

    My friend J.B. Shayne wrote and performed this lovely poem about movie culture in Vancouver, and he mentions Tatlow Park. See it here:


  2. According to IMDBPro.com, the first pic shot in Vancouver is “Cavalry Swimming Columbia River (1902-Short). I don’t see any “Major Motion Pictures pre-dating “Cold Day” unless you want to count “Lambchop’s special Channukah” (1965)

  3. According to IMDBPro.com, the first pic shot in Vancouver is “Cavalry Swimming Columbia River (1902-Short).

    The Columbia river flows beside Vancouver, Washington, so that may be the wrong Vancouver.

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